The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009, the first year of to 245,000 in December.  The VA reports the average wait time of 273 days. But the internal data indicates that veterans filing their first claim, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wait nearly two months longer, between 316 and 327 days. Those filing for the first time in America’s major population centers wait up to twice as long – 642 days in New York, 619 days in Los Angeles and 542 days in Chicago.

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